MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set a final deadline for winning and losing candidates to complete deficiencies in their statement of election contributions and expenses (SOCE) for the 2013 midterm polls.
In Comelec Resolution No. 9849 promulgated on February 13, non-compliant candidates – winning or losing – have until May 12 to submit or correct their SOCE requirements. The deadline is final and non-extendible.
Candidates who would still not comply will face administrative cases and election offenses related to campaign finance.
As of December 2013, there are still around 300 winning candidates who have either failed to submit on time or improperly filed their SOCEs for the 2013 midterm polls. (READ: Comelec errs in SOCE deficiency of 29 politicians)
Non-compliant candidates are those who:
- Did not submit their SOCEs
- Did not personally sign their SOCEs
- Did not use the prescribed SOCE form
- Did not submit or completely fill up relevant annexes
- Did not attach a photocopy of receipts for contributions and expenses
The erring candidates should submit in person or through mail their late or corrected SOCEs at the office of Comelec’s Campaign Finance Unit in Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila.
Resolution 9849 also imposed late penalties, with amounts depending on the elective position they sought in the 2013 polls:
|Electoral Position||Late Penalty|
|Governor and vice governor (including those in ARMM)||P9,500|
|Provincial board member and ARMM regional assembly member||P8,000|
|City mayor and vice mayor||P8,000|
|Municipal mayor, vice mayor, and councilor||P5,000|
Late submissions from political parties and party-list organizations woud also be slapped with the following penalties:
|National political parties||P16,000|
|Regional and provincial political parties||P9,500|
|Local political parties||P8,000|
The resolution clarified that these penalties do not constitute the administrative fine provided for in Republic Act 7166. Therefore, the payment of these penalties, together with the submission of complete SOCE requirements, does not make the erring candidates administratively liable for violation of the said law.
On Dec 12, 2013, Comelec asked 424 elected officials to vacate their posts for failing to submit on time or improperly filing their SOCEs for the 2013 midterm polls. Around 115 officials have complied since. – Rappler.com